Jonathan Salem Baskin

Bright Lights Project: CMO (dot) com

I've had another experience that reaffirmed my belief that the content creation approach to marketing is not only downright irritating, but fatally flawed.

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The Plainspeak Manifesto

I couldn't figure it out for the life of me. The email from the Illinois Teachers Union went on and on about changes to the health insurance program but didn't explicitly explain what they meant, or what teachers should do about it.

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Bright Lights Project: McDonald's

"As an insurance measure, due in part to a recent string of robberies, African-American customers are now required to pay an additional fee of $1.50 per transaction," read the sign captured in a photo and Tweeted to the cosmos last weekend. McDonald's promptly Tweeted that it was a hoax, and then issued a shorter reposte that read "That seriously McDonalds picture is a hoax" (the RT'ing of the photo had run under the tisk-tisk headline "Seriously McDonald's").

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Bright Lights Project: Nokia

The news just goes from bad to worse for Nokia. A huge cut in its sales and profit forecast at the end of last month cratered its stock to its lowest price in 13 years. Then the company was put on credit watch and its rating cut by Standard & Poor's. Nobody's surprised (its fellow hardware maker Motorola has been ineffectually struggling for years).

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Markets Aren't Moral

Not only are they not moral, they're not inherently efficient, let alone just or fair. Markets possess no magic capacity for resolving differences that human beings can't (or won't), and they don't know more or less than we do. They're not bad, but they're not good either. Markets are agnostic to morality.

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Bright Lights Project: Kindle

BookExpo America, the annual event for the authors, agents, publishers, distributors, and assorted vendors of the book industry, just concluded last week in New York City. The gig was filled with handshakes and the tote bags filled with galleys and schwag, or so I read on Fortune's website.

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A Better Forecast

As I write this essay, today's weather forecast is for a high of 75 and a low of 61. I have no idea what that means.

It's going to be nice, for sure, but will it be 75 this morning or sometime later in the day? Will it be 75 for a while or only a brief moment? 75 to 61 is a 14-degree range, so is the spread dramatic or not? Does 75 feel almost like 80, or more like 70? Something in the low 60s isn't necessarily warm but coolish, right?

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Bluster

My recent essay in Advertising Age prompted quite a response, most of which was petulant and angry. I could have made my case more convincingly, but even with that said the comments revealed a shocking ignorance of recent history, and a willingness to replace reason with bluster.

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It's the OS, Stupid

Microsoft shares cratered nearly 5 percent last Friday after the company announced a decline in sales of its Windows computer operating system. Its mention of 21% higher revenue in sales of Microsoft Office and Xbox didn't do much to mollify freaked out investors.

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Bright Lights Project: Apple

I know that suggesting marketing ideas to Apple is like telling the Beatles how to write popular songs, but the brand that borrowed its name and famous logo from the aforementioned band isn't above input from outside, whether it likes to admit it or not.

 

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